Stanislaus County Gives Limited Approval to Commercial Cannabis

Stanislaus County supervisors have reluctantly given the green light to commercial marijuana businesses that wish to operate in the county after Jan. 1. And yet, it could mean fewer cannabis businesses than are currently in existence.

Under the new ordinance, approved in a 4 to 1 vote Tuesday, seven dispensaries approved by the county will be allowed to operate in unincorporated areas. Right now, officials believe there are about 14.

Stanislaus’ 14 marijuana dispensaries will get 15 days to apply for permits. The lucky 7 will be chosen after permit application reviews, interviews, and background checks. The remaining 7 are out of luck. Officials have promised to clamp down on “criminal” cannabis enterprises as part of the new regulatory system.

The new rules prohibit outdoor grows. Indoor cultivation fees will range from $5 per square-foot (areas of 5,000 square feet or less) to $10 per square square-foot (areas larger than 22,000 square feet). The county expects to bring in $4 million to $7 million annually. But it has to hire more staff. An additional 19 people will be hired for positions in the sheriff's and district attorney's offices, county counsel, planning, public health, probation and agricultural commissioner's offices.

Read more about the new rules here